Diggers giant JCB ceases production for the first time in its history due to a coronavirus pandemic
Diggers giant JCB stopped production for the first time in its history because of the pandemic.
The British company blamed an “unprecedented” drop in demand. This means that the company’s nine manufacturing facilities in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham will remain closed for the rest of this week and all of next week without a long-term shutdown decision.
The move was announced hours after production ceased by automakers BMW, Toyota, Honda and Rolls-Royce after Nissan and Vauxhall owners PSA earlier this week. JCB stressed that falling demand was not only seen in the UK. Customers worldwide canceled or delayed orders due to the coronavirus crisis.
Dig deep: The company’s nine manufacturing facilities in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham remain closed
During the downtime, the workers in the workshop are paid in full and the office personnel are instructed to work from home wherever possible.
Managing Director Graeme Macdonald said, “These measures are unprecedented in JCB’s history, but absolutely necessary to protect the company.”
BMW, with 8,000 employees in the UK, will close factories across Europe for at least four weeks starting Monday, including the mini plant in Oxford and the plant in Swindon. A third location in Hams Hall, Warwickshire is currently under review.
According to industry metrics, the UK auto industry struggled with only Jaguar Land Rover still operating. Toyota, which employs 3,000 people, has closed its factories in Burnaston, Derbyshire and Deeside, North Wales.
Rolls-Royce said its Goodwood manufacturing facility in West Sussex will be closed for two weeks starting Monday.
Mike Hawes, executive director of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said the UK auto industry is now “on the brink and will desperately need special measures to keep from falling over the edge”.